Good morning. This week’s words are all about connectivity and enhancing language:

“Language shows our common humanity. About half of the world’s population speaks languages that came from the same parent language (we call it Proto-Indo-European). Languages as different as English, Farsi, German, Hindi, Irish, and Spanish came from the same parent.
Ultimately, we are all related.
Leave it to opportunist politicians to use trumped-up accusations to divide people into us vs. them.
This week we’ll see five miscellaneous words, each of which adds to the richness of the language.”

factious (FAK-shuhs)

adjective: divisive; seditious; relating to or arising from faction

From French factieux (seditious) and Latin factiosus (partisan), from facere (to do). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dhe- (to set or put), which is also the source of do, deed, factory, fashion, face, rectify, defeat, sacrifice, satisfy, Sanskrit sandhi (joining), Urdu purdah (veil, curtain), and Russian duma (council). Earliest documented use: 1527

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The agreement last month of Syria’s traditionally factious and fractious three million Kurds to put aside their differences and form the Kurdish National Council has alarmed neighbouring Turkey.”
Jonathan Manthorpe; Arab Spring Awakens Kurdish Dreams of Autonomy; The Vancouver Sun (Canada); Aug 3, 2012.

repudiate (ri-PYOO-dee-ayt)

verb transitive: to reject, refuse, or disown

From Latin repudiare (to divorce, reject), from repudium (divorce). Earliest documented use: 1534

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Callers repudiated the new tax but most also took the Senate to task for its factious role in delaying the legislation.”
Patrick Conlon; Public Opinion; The Globe and Mail (Canada); Apr 1, 1991.

blandishment (BLAN-dish-muhnt)

noun: something (action, speech, etc.) designed to flatter, coax, or influence

From Latin blandiri (to flatter). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mel- (soft), which also gave us bland, melt, smelt, malt, mild, mulch, mollify, mollusk, emollient, enamel, smalto, and schmaltz. Earliest documented use: 1591

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The House should take the opportunity to demonstrate that it isn’t really susceptible to the blandishments of a special interest and repudiate the bill.”
Big Bucks for Billboards; The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina); Feb 5, 2006.

ignominious (ig-nuh-MIN-ee-uhs)

adjective: deserving or causing disgrace or shame

Via French, from Latin ignominia, from ig- (not) + nomen (name). Ultimately from the Indo-European root no-men- (name) which also gave us name, anonymous, noun, synonym, eponym, renown, nominate, misnomer, and moniker. Earliest documented use: 1530

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Bureaucratic, hand-typed, without puffery or blandishment, they may be the most ignominious documents in the Jews’ 4,000-year history. They are four sheets of paper dated Sep 15, 1935, signed by Adolf Hitler, that legally excluded Jews from German life and set the groundwork for exterminating them from Europe.”
Daniel B. Wood; Some Dark Words of History Come to Light; The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts); Jul 1, 1999.

fractious (FRAK-shuhs)

adjective: 1. irritable; cranky. 2. unruly

From Latin fractus, past participle of frangere (to break). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhreg- (to break), which also gave us break, breach, fraction, and fragile. Earliest documented use: 1725

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“This is a tie that could bring an ignominious end to Mourinho’s fractious reign in Madrid.”
Oliver Holt; Thanks to Sir Alex, Jose Will Be Judged at Old Trafford; The Daily Mirror (London, UK); Feb 14, 2013.

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